Need: 25 Top Design Books of 2016

One of the great things about this time of year is all the “best of” lists and compilations. Around here, we are suckers for the best magazines, best fonts and best covers.

Today, we’ve got another great list: The Best Design Books of 2016.

“Despite its disastrous reputation, 2016 was an interesting year for design books, with a surprising quantity of reissues among those below,” writes Jessica Farris in PrintMag. “Whether you’re looking for reading material, inspiration for the coming year, or a gift for that creative person in your life, these books—listed in no particular order—are sure to enlighten and edify.”

The first one on the list, Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang, is a great pick for anyone who wants a better understanding of why graphics work the way they do. The book came out originally in 1991 and has been reissued for its 25th anniversary. Not only will this help you be a better designer, you might find it useful when trying to explain to the non-designers on your team how things work.

Another pick for those with career development goals is Inside Art Direction by Steven Brower.

“For many design students, the expectation is that they will one day reach the top of the ladder within a design studio or corporation and become an art director,” Farris writes. “But what does this mean and how does a design student get there? What does an art director do? How is it different from being a designer? How does one lead and inspire a team, work with freelance designers, illustrators and photographers?”

This book looks to answers those questions by talking to real-world art directors and telling their stories. Others on the list cover posters, maps, collage and even the graphic elements in psychological testing (fun for the office or home).

Enjoy the list, then order a few favorites for your own bookshelf.